What to do if a Hurricane Threatens Your Gulf Shores Vacation Fun

Now that the Alabama Gulf Coast is open for business and we are all rebounding from last year’s pandemic closures, we know you are ready to book your beach vacation getaway or flexcation soon!  Your friends at Sunset Properties want you to make the most of your beach vacation experience.  We want you and your family to enjoy all the great restaurants and attractions available here on our Alabama Gulf Coast.  We want you to dip your toes in the welcoming waters of the salty Gulf of Mexico and enjoy listening to the seagulls chatter and watching the dolphins play in our back bays of Orange Beach.  We want you to enjoy walking on our sugary sandy white beaches in front of the Hangout in Gulf Shores.  We hope you get to go boating and fishing and parasailing in Mobile Bay, if those things appeal to you.  But we also want you to be prepared just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.  Here are some tips on What to do if a hurricane threatens your vacation fun in Gulf Shoes, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:  

  • Know where you are

Keeping up with exactly where you are on a map is so important. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico tropical weather, whether you’re dealing with a tropical storm or a hurricane, may not affect all parts of the Gulf Coast with the same severity.  What can be considered a major storm in one area of the Northern Gulf can be little more than a rain event just a few miles away.  Know where your vacation home is in relation to any severe weather that may be in the expected or affecting the Northern Gulf Coast.  Just because there is tropical weather in The Gulf of Mexico doesn’t necessarily mean your vacation has to be altered.  Sometimes, all it means is there is no swimming allowed in The Gulf for a day or so due to rip currents/tides.  And if that’s the case, you will still have a great time staying with Sunset Properties.  Most of our vacation homes have pools either right on site or only a short walk away.

  • Know exactly what you’re dealing with

Tropical weather can appear in several different forms.  The ones that seem to catch our ears here on the Alabama Gulf Coast are tropical storms and hurricanes.  What’s the difference?   As defined by www.weather.gov a tropical storm is a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds ranging from 39-73 mph (34 to 63 knots). And a hurricane is  a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds of 74 mph or greater (64 knots or greater).  Both usually only last a day or so.  It’s the strength of a storm that determines whether our island roads and businesses remain cautiously open or have to close temporarily for safety.  While no one likes to deal with tropical weather, knowing what you’re dealing with will make things more manageable.  And understanding that when authorities determine the situation is severe enough to ask residents and guests to leave or delay returning to our island home, we all must comply.

  • Be weather aware

Weather reports are often available a week or so out and it’s a good idea to check out our local weather within a couple of weeks of your arrival.  Not only will this help you plan what to bring to wear, but it can give you an idea if severe weather is possible or likely during your vacation.  While we love to say it’s always sunny and 75 here sometimes, we have to admit, it’s neither sunny nor seventy-five.  We urge you to get a weather app for your phone that will allow you to not only track out local weather here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, but will also allow you to get alerts that follow you while you’re in our neighborhood.  Sometimes the weather at The Dunes near Fort Morgan is perfectly sunny under breezy blue skies, while the weather in Gulf Shores at Lighthouse 607 or Harbor House 30 can be rainy and over in Orange Beach, at Seaside Beach and Racquet 2104 or Caribe C Penthouse 14, they may be looking at the brightest rainbow in memory.

  • Buy travel insurance

When you book with Sunset Properties, long before you check in to Navy Cove 2113 or Hangar Outer, we will offer you the option to purchase travel insurance.  Get it.  Go ahead and purchase the insurance.  You insure everything else important in your life, why would you not insure your vacation?  This is the one big leisure expense you saved for and planned on all year.  Make a small investment in travel insurance and guarantee yourself a financially secure vacation.  For details on all the different travel insurance options, take a look at our blog detailing reasons you really do need this.

  • Develop a Plan B

All business savvy folks have a Plan B, just in case Plan A falls through.  Great vacation planners do this, as well.  We cannot overstress the importance of purchasing travel insurance.  You save all year for your  beach vacation;  the kids are so excited and hyped up; you have your four legged baby all vaccinated and ready to roll, then you realize the weather will just not cooperate with your plans.  If you cannot check into your vacation rental because it is simply not available, check with Sunset Properties about rescheduling for a different date.  Call as soon as you know you cannot arrive on time!  Do not delay notifying our staff with this request.  With some restrictions, this may be an option.  Also, try not to get fixated on only one of our great properties.  Be sure to look at all of our inventory, just in case you have to change your beach home address.  While this may never happen to you, and we sincerely hope it doesn’t, it is always good to have your Plan B in place.  After all, no one likes an unfamiliar, unexpected vacation surprise.  Book your favorite home, but go ahead and take a look at all we have available, and decide which of our amazingly family and dog friendly beach homes could be your second or third choice.

  • Expect the unexpected

Expect the unexpected and plan for it.  No one likes that guy Murphy who has all those gloom and doom (if-it-can-go-wrong—it-will-go-wrong) “laws” and we are convinced he is related to Mayhem, because he seems to pop up at the most inopportune times.  We don’t like him and most of our guests don’t care much for him either.  But there’s no harm in preparing for the worst.  While none of us can stop a hurricane or a tropical storm, we can at least prepare.  And tropical weather or not, it is always a good idea to throw in a rain poncho when you’re coming to your beach home.  While it doesn’t rain all day every day during the summer months along the Alabama Gulf Coast, it usually rains for a few minutes, most days.  Be prepared for afternoon showers as you enjoy your stay with us.  Ponchos and flip-flops are totally normal in our neighborhood!

  • Understand your cancellation or rescheduling options

We know that sometimes you just have to cancel or reschedule your vacation.  Things come up.  While we do our best to accommodate our guests and make changing plans as easy as possible, we hope our guests will do their part, as well.  Ask your reservationist for specifics on rescheduling your trip if the need arises.  Know your options.  There may be fees associated with this and the property you were initially hoping for may or may not be available for your new dates.  Get all the details when you make your initial booking.  We, at Sunset Properties, are only a click or call away and we will be happy to help you understand all of the options that are available to you when you make your reservation.

  • Consider changing your destination city

If vacation home choices in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan become unavailable during your scheduled time, how about considering visiting an alternative location?  Sunset Properties also has a lovely vacation home in Park City, Utah.  While Park City is obviously a long, long way from the Alabama Gulf Coast, our vacation home Silver Saddles is as spectacular a home as you have come to expect from us.  It is a three bedroom, three and a half bath 2,000 square foot ground floor condo located in this beautiful mountain resort area.  Vacations in Park City, in both summer and winter, are memorable!  Rescheduling your summer trip away from the Gulf of Mexico and visiting Park City, located about thirty miles from Salt Lake City, Utah, may just be one of the best vacation decisions you and your family ever make!

If you have questions or need suggestions on what to do while you’re staying with us on the Alabama Gulf Coast, check out or blog on Romantic Things to Do in Gulf Shores or Things to do With Your Kids in Gulf Shores.  We live, work and play right here in beautiful south Alabama and we would love to offer suggestions on how to make the most of your time in our area.  And if a summer stay in the stunning Utah mountains appeals to you, we can help you get your Park City vacation set up, also!  See you soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Post-pandemic Golfing in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan – Top Five Courses

Now that the Covid-19 case numbers have decreased and we are starting to hang out with our friends again, we golfers are excited to get back out on the courses!  Here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, our amenities are starting to open back up fully in our island home.  A post-pandemic golf weekend in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan may be just what the doctor ordered to help you get over those pandemic lockdown blues!  There is no better time than now to make up for all the missed tee times from last year and according to Sports Show , golf ranks among the ten most popular sports in the world, so it is no coincidence that some of the best golf courses in the world are found right here along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  But how do you know which course is right for you?  To make your decision easier, we have listed the top five golf courses in our area:

  • Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club 

Located just off Fort Morgan Road, Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is another of our local favorites.  Peninsula offers three separate 9 hold courses:  Lakes, Cypress and Marsh and we encourage you to play all three.  Combine two of the three to make an 18-hole round.  Each provides a distinctly different challenge and reward.  Finding this type of variety in one resort location is not always easy.  Make sure to visit the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club website  to learn about tee times and fees.  Sunset Properties is proud to offer the golfer with discerning taste an elegant beach home located about ten minutes from Peninsula Golf and Racquet ClubCoquille at Martinique is a six-bedroom, five bath gorgeous beach home located in the golf cart friendly gated community of Martinique just off Fort Morgan Road.  After a day of golfing and enjoying the sun and breezes that flow through the Peninsula Golf Course, you’ll only be a short trip from a relaxing shower and a private sunroom or deck where you can enjoy your evening cocktail.

  • Craft Farms Golf Resort

Every serious golfer knowsCraft Farms Golf Resort is one of the top resorts in the country.  The Cotton Creek Course and The Cypress Bend Course were both designed by the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, making them extremely appealing to anyone who swings a club.  With perfectly trimmed fairways and surrounding areas unmatched in beauty, these 18-hole courses are a must for any golfer, pro or otherwise.  Craft Farms, located at 3840 Cotton Creek Circle in Gulf Shores, about fifteen minutes from the beachfront luxury home Lighthouse 607, offers beautifully furnished clubhouses managed by a knowledgeable and professional staff.  These courses are both challenging and entertaining.  To book your tee time, visit the Craft Farms online.  To get a closer look at the exquisitely decorated Gulf front beach home called Lighthouse 607, visit Sunset Properties.   Make sure you give Craft Farms a serious look, too.  After all, you may find Arnold Palmer designed the perfect course for You!

  • One Club Golf

For one of the most distinctive golfing experiences around, try One Club Golf.  Along with traditional day time golfing outings, One Club Golf offers golfing after dark.  That’s right, you can experience this glowingly fun way to golf, after the sun goes down. With Sunset Golf, Glow Golf and Golf Happy Hour, we are sure everyone in your family will have a blast.  So much of what we think of when we consider visiting a beach resort town, revolves around enjoying sunny days.  Well, with this new twist on a favorite sport, starry nights are in style, too!  Conveniently located at 4000 Gulf Shores Parkway in Gulf Shores, One Club Golf is just a short drive to the Bon Secour River area where Hangar Outer is located.  If enjoying the stars is something that appeals to you, be sure to consider Hangar Outer.  This special beach home was constructed out of an old airplane hangar and it is perfectly and appropriately located for any sky watcher.  Surrounded by 380 feet of water, the views of both water and sky are unmatched!  So after a day or night of golfing at One Club Golf, come home and continue your fun experience of enjoying twenty-four hours of fun at Hangar Outer!

  • Gulf Shores Golf Club 

Located in the heart of Gulf Shores at 520 Clubhouse Drive, Gulf Shores Golf Club is a semi-private club.  Guests are welcome to play this top rated Alabama golf course, along with members.   This beautifully kept 18 hole course is home to several local non-golfing residents.  Raccoons, squirrels and alligators can be found on or near the course.  The course has some challenging holes, as well.  Trees and ponds make navigating this local favorite fun and exciting. While you’re here, be sure to visit the Pro Shop and clubhouse.  Gulf Shores Golf Club, built in the 1960s, is an icon in our area and we know you will want to visit it while you’re in our neighborhood.  Speaking of neighborhoods, one of our favorites is the Fort Morgan Community.  Just minutes from Gulf Shores Golf Club, Tetherdown is a Mobile Bay front beach home just waiting for you and nine of your friends.  If a guy’s or girl’s golf weekend that includes fabulous views of the water is your goal, be sure to give this beach home a look.  Tetherdown, like Gulf Shores Golf Club, is surrounded with the natural wildlife that makes the Alabama Gulf Coast so inviting.  Be on the lookout for dolphins in Mobile Bay and possibly raccoons, squirrels or alligators near the home.  Also, if you see any of our Alabama Beach Mouse friends, please don’t disturb them.  They are endangered and we need them to help us keep our dunes intact.  

  • Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf

The Golf Course at Kiva Dunes has just over 7,100 yards of play area and is one of the top courses in Alabama.  Located just off Fort Morgan Road at 815 Plantation Road near Gulf and Golf East and Gulf and Golf West, Kiva Dunes is a completely public course.  In April 2018, it was ranked the top public course in Alabama by Golf Advisor.  The golf course, itself, as well as the professional staff, constantly receive rave reviews from guests and locals alike.  We are quite partial to them, as well!  Because of the novel location of this amazingly manicured course, which is literally between The Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay, the winds that pass over it change frequently.  Winds blow across the course from both the Gulf and Mobile Bay.  As every golfer knows, as the winds that blow across a course change,  the course, itself, changes.  This makes each golfing experience at Kiva a unique one. If you’re looking for a course that is constantly a challenge, well-kept and managed by super friendly folks, and is within walking distance from beautifully decorated beach homes that sleep up to seventeen of your closest golfing buddies, Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf is perfect for you!  For tee times and fees, visit Kiva Dunes online.

If you’re looking for a great place to practice and just hit a few balls around, be sure to visit The City of Orange Beach’s Orange Beach Golf Center located at 4700 Easy Street in Orange Beach.  Easy Street is just off Canal Road near The Wharf in Orange Beach.  The Orange Beach Golf Center features 9-Hole, Par-3 Course, lighted driving range, practice putting/chipping greens, practice sand bunker, and Pro Shop.  This golf venue is so lovely and well-kept.  We encourage island guests to visit The Orange Beach Golf Center for a relaxing afternoon.

Many of you have heard about the great courses in our area, but you’re not sure which one or ones to visit.  As locals, we’ve tried them all.  We are happy to recommend these courses, managed by our neighbors and friends, to you, our guests.  We believe you will fall in love with Golfing the Gulf Coast, just like thousands have before you.  And if you’re a repeat guest golfer, welcome back!

Remember, your vacation home is just as important as finding the perfect place to tee off.  Visit us at Sunset Properties and we can help you find those perfect accommodations for you and your family or you and your golf buddies.  From private pools to dog friendly options, to vacation homes with places to park your golf cart or your personal watercraft, at Sunset Properties, we have them all!  And we can’t wait for you to see them!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Top 10 Things to Do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan for Memorial Day Weekend 2021

Flexcation.  Workcation.  Schoolcation.  Staycation.  Vacation.  With so many variants of the word, we thought you might want to try a Maycation!  How about doing it for Memorial Day Weekend 2021.  Extend your weekend stay out just a bit and kick off summer the right way:  in beautiful Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, Alabama.  Looking for something fun to do while you’re staying with us, check out these ten suggestions:

1.      Go Shelling

Shelling is something we’ve all done for years as we visited the beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  What is Shelling?  Simply put, it is the act of collecting sea shells.  The beaches that surround our island are varied and wonderfully decorated with so many different shells.  Finding two alike is usually a challenge.  While no two are exactly alike, there are similarities.  Mollusks, animals like clams and oysters, who live inside shells, create their shell homes by using calcium carbonate.  Similar mollusks create similar looking shells.  These shell homes grow with the animals as the animals get larger.  However, the shells are never actually alive.  When the animal dies, the shell is left behind.  We ask visitors to our beautiful Gulf coast beaches to be mindful of animals who are still living in their shells. When you’re shelling, please do not take ones with marine animals living inside.  Instead, look for the empty ones.  Most days, you’ll find lots of abandoned clam and oyster “houses” all up and down our beaches.  Stop by one of our Alabama Gulf Coast Visitor Centers for more information on shelling.

2.      Tour the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and Dine at the Safari Club

How many times have you driven past the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and thought about stopping?  Well, this should be the year you stop in!  But we need to remind you, the zoo moved!  It is now located at its new home at 20499 Oak Road East in Gulf Shores.  Instead of being located on the island, the zoo moved just a bit inland.  Actually, it’s only about ten minutes north of the intracoastal bridge, just off Gulf Shores Parkway (Alabama Hwy 59).  Did you notice we tell distance in time?  It’s kind of a locals thing.  You’ll get used to it!  Anyway, this new location allows our “Little Zoo That Could” for many years, be all it can be… today!  Did you know our zoo is home to over 300 animals?  In fact, more than 20 of those are listed on the endangered or threatened species lists. Preservation of our wildlife and our surroundings is so important to us all.  That brings us to The Safari Club.  You’ll want to stop in and dine at this unique restaurant that is Alabama’s first certified “Green Restaurant”.  But what’s an eco-friendly restaurant without a great menu, right?  The good folks at The Safari Club have one of the most mouth-watering menus around!  Go ahead, take a peek here and plan your Memorial Day Weekend outing to include not only a visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, but also to one of our favorite dining spots, The Safari Club.

3.      Enjoy a Dolphin Cruise

Dolphin cruises are one of the most entertaining ways to spend a weekend afternoon!  This unusual outing is something most people cannot do where they live.  So, while you’re visiting our little piece of paradise here on earth, be sure to book your family a dolphin cruise.  Most dolphin cruises leave out of marinas in Orange Beach.  The friendly folks at our Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Tourist Bureau can help you make an educated decision on which kind of cruise will work for your family and your schedule.  Some dolphin cruises are sunset cruises.  Some are in glass bottom boats. And some are just a couple of hours out in a boat watching these super smart, very entertaining mammals play in our back bays.  No matter which dolphin cruise you choose, be sure your phone battery is charged!  You’ll want to take lots of pictures or even a few videos.  

4.      Visit the Gulf State Park Pier

The world famous Gulf State Park Pier is open!  It was damaged last year during Hurricane Sally and has been under reconstruction ever since, but the first 725 feet of our favorite public pier is now ready for your visit.  Covid prevention restrictions remain in place and the number of guests who can use the pier at one time is lower than we are all accustomed to.  But to a real fisherman (or fisher lady) this absolutely does not matter.  Any chance to fish off the pier is worth not passing up!  Folks who just want to walk out on the pier and get a view of the Gulf unlike any other on the island are also welcome.  Again, the number of pier visitors at any one time is limited, so you may have to wait a bit for folks to come off this amazing, suspended walkway, but we assure you it’s worth the wait!  Looking down over the waves of one of the most powerful bodies of water on earth is quite awe inspiring.  You’ll be able to see lots of fish, rays and maybe even a small dolphin or two.  Be sure to plan your visit to our Gulf State Park Pier while you’re in Gulf Shores for Memorial Day Weekend 2021.

5.      See the Fireworks at Owa

Speaking of awe inspiring, have you ever seen the fireworks at Owa?  Owa, our Alabama Gulf Coast’s own family amusement park venue, is planning to have an amazing fireworks show on the night of Saturday, May 29, 2021.  Owa is located in Foley at 1501 South Owa Boulevard, about fifteen minutes north of the intracoastal bridge.  It’s really not that far past the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo if you go there by way of Gulf Shores Parkway.  If you get to the Tanger Outlets, though, you went too far.  It’s super easy to find Owa from the Foley Beach Express.  You can see it just off that highway.  No matter how you get to Owa from your Sunset Properties beach home, you’re sure to enjoy the fireworks show.  But don’t just go for the fireworks. Owa is one of the nicest family entertainment venues anywhere.  Go for the day!  The amusement park has rides for the whole family.  The big kids will love the Rollin Thunder coaster.  The little guys will laugh and giggle as they ride The Tea Cups.  And, with so many great places to eat at Owa, the whole family will enjoy this Memorial Day adventure!

6.      Eat Breakfast at The Ruby Slipper Cafe

One of the best ways to start off one of the best days of your 2021 Memorial Day Weekend is to have a great breakfast.  One of our favorite places to enjoy a blend of Coastal Alabama hospitality and New Orleans cuisine is The Ruby Slipper Cafe.  This family friendly restaurant in Orange Beach has one of the most varied menus this side of Lake Pontchartrain.  In fact, you’d have to drive west about 198 miles to get a breakfast that compares with The Ruby Slipper Cafe.  What should you order?  The Peace Maker is a favorite choice.  With this, you get your choice of two eggs benedict mini meals.  This is a must-try for someone who has a hard time making up their mind.  Kids will love eating here, too!  The Cinnamon Swirl Pancake is usually a hit with the under-18 crowd.  And while we don’t suggest overindulging in adult beverages so early in the day, we do suggest trying at least one.  A Ruby Mimosa is not only a pretty drink sitting beside your Peace Maker, it’s also delicious.

7.      Attend a Church Service at the Flora-Bama

Speaking of adult beverages, did you know your favorite coastal roadhouse has church services each week?  That’s right!  The World Famous Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store holds weekly worship services on Sundays at 9:00AM and 11:00AM.  Yes.  Church.  In a bar.  Under a tent.  And, yes, you are invited.  This is probably one of the most unique Bible studies and praise music experiences you’ll ever have.  Put Central Church at Flora Bama on your list of things to do while you’re in our area.  And if you go one time, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to go back again.  Attend with an open mind.  And leave with a blessed heart.  What a great way to start off your summer season and what a great Memorial Day memory to take home.

8.      Race Around The Track

Ahhhh…The Track.  Just as you’re about to cross the Holmes (intracoastal) Bridge onto our little island home in Gulf Shores, you’ll see a huge go-kart park off to your left.  The Track.  It’s big.  It’s fun.  And it’s fast.  The Track looks like a place just for kids.  But don’t let looks fool you.  The Track was built with the whole family in mind.  If you’ve never raced your kids around a go-kart track, you’re missing out on some of the funniest memories you could ever make!  And after your second grader pulls ahead of you in that last curve, and leaves you in her dust, you’ll definitely want to go inside the arcade and cool off.  Have a soda, win a few arcade games. (It’ll help build your ego back up after being smoked by an 8-year-old in a pink go-kart!) Collect your tickets and choose your favorite prize option.  When we tell you, The Track is for the whole family, trust us.  When we tell you it’s genuinely fun, trust us again.  You all are sure to have a family adventure like no other and make unmatched memories here.

9.      Take a Sand Castle Building Class

So we know no trip to the beautiful white coastline that borders Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is complete without at least one sand castle construction.  Most of us take our little yellow dollar store buckets to the beach and work for hours and construct something that looks like…well, an upside-down bucket.  Despite our most determined efforts, we somehow lack the engineering skills we need to construct a bona fide, award-winning sandcastle.  What if we told you there’s a class for that?  Yep!  There are a few experts around our island home who will show you how to make something remarkable out of sand.  While you’re visiting with us and staying in your welcoming Sunset Properties beach home, your whole family can take a sandcastle building class from our friends at Sand Castle University.  The good folks at Sand Castle U will meet you and your family on the beach and give you expert lessons on how to build the perfect sand art creation.  You’ll need to register online.  Follow this link to Sand Castle University to get your group class set-up.  Then get ready to experience something uniquely beachy this Memorial Day.  

10.     Get a Family Photo

One of the most important things you can do this year is take a family photo.  2020 and 

Covid -19 were terrible.  Between lockdowns and sickness and the seemingly endless restrictions that kept us away from our loved ones, we all experienced some kind of loneliness.  Thankfully, this year seems to be moving more toward happy times and happy memories.  We want to remind you to take pictures.  Take lots of pictures with your family.  Those smiling sun kissed faces need to be photographed.  Professional beach portraits are always a good idea.  We suggest giving our friends at Chasing the Son Photography a call.  They will treat you like they’ve always known you.  They will meet you at the beach and help you and your family get the finest possible shot.  Capturing memories is what they do all day every day.  These experts treat their clients like family, and they tend to make quite a few friends along the way.

While having the perfect beach vacation home makes any trip wonderful, we at Sunset Properties, want to help you have one of most pleasurable vacation experiences imaginable.  Whether you’re staying in one of our Alabama Gulf Coast Luxury Beach Homes, a one, two or three bedroom beachy condos or a perfectly placed Mobile Bay front home with a boat slip, we know what you do away from your paradise address is just as important as where you sleep.  Knowing where to go, how long it takes to get there, and having some idea of what to expect when you arrive is always helpful.  We hope you will consider staying with us for Memorial Day Weekend 2021.  Starting your Maycation is just a phone call away!

Welcome Guests!  Welcome Summer!

Be sure to check out our dog friendly homes, we welcome your Fur Babies, too!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Watch College Football at the Beach? Absolutely!

This year has certainly been one for the books.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has seemingly touched every part of our lives.  We have dealt with closures, quarantines, cancelled events, cancelled sports, missed family visits, and, sadly, sick friends and loved-ones.  Truly COVID-19 has not been kind to us this year.  We, at Sunset Properties, are feeling the same way you are.  We are getting on with our lives as best we can, while keeping the social distancing guidelines firmly in the forefront of our choices.  We wake up each day, watch the news and hope things will start to improve.  We have also been trying to help you keep your good cheer going with our blogs suggesting ways to make a good situation out of a bad one.  

 The latest casualty of this terrible virus is college football.  If you’re from Alabama, or pretty much anywhere in the south, college football is not just a sport, it’s a season.  Down here, we have spring, summer, football, holidays, and spring again.  And COVID or no COVID, we want our football.  Our annual pilgrimage to our favorite college campus is almost a spiritual experience.  It’s like going home.  Meeting up with our friends for grilled food and cold beverages before cramming ourselves into the stadium with 101,820 other people just like us, well, it’s a feeling we cannot replace. Many of us were disappointed to find out stadium tailgating has been banned and  we cannot attend games this year and maintain social distancing.   To a Saturday-Down-South-er, that’s a pretty hard pill to swallow.  That said and  to keep with our goal of helping you make the best of things, we at Sunset Properties, want to give you an alternative to the traditional way you’ve watched your favorite team play.  We want to invite you to grab a couple of your besties and their spouses, and come to your Alabama Gulf Coast for a couples weekend getaway.   

Here are five great reasons to plan a College Football Couples Getaway Trip to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:

 1         Tailgating Has Not Been Banned

Because of fears of spreading COVID-19, tailgating, the original pre-game meet-and-greet, has been banned at several stadiums and college campuses this year.  However, in Fort Morgan, on the rooftop patio of USA 2, tailgating has not only not been banned, but it is actually encouraged.  This magnificent home will sleep up to 18 football fans comfortably, so you and your favorite cheerleader, together with a couple of your best friends, will have plenty of room to enjoy, not only the game, but also the view of the Gulf of Mexico.  In the kitchen you’ll find everything you need to prepare your favorite football snacks.  Stop by Rouses Market before you turn onto Fort Morgan Road for groceries.  We love Rouses.  In addition to foods you buy to prepare yourself, the good folks at Rouses always have something already cooked for you to grab and take home. And they have one of the best beer and wine selections anywhere.  Planning your tailgate party has never been so easy.  And if you’re staying at USA2, it will be one you’ll always remember.

 If grilling out before a game is your idea of a proper tailgate, check out Hayley House #12.  Located in Orange Beach, guests of Haley House #12 are offered the opportunity to use the grill located in the pavilion area of this gated community.  Once the game is over, you’ll love the super easy beach access from this amazing home that sleeps ups to eleven folks.  This beach neighborhood has its own private beach.  No matter which home you choose, please tailgate responsibly.  Our beach vacation homes are in neighborhoods where locals live. Please be courteous of your neighbors.  And when you visit our Alabama Beaches, please leave only footprints.

 2       Shopping is Allowed During the Game

When two or three couples get together, the ladies seem to want to go do their thing while the guys do theirs.  It just happens.  So, if the guys are going to be glued to the TV all afternoon and the ladies are not really that interested, what should they do?  How about a little retail therapy?!  Sure!  Shop!  There is certainly no shortage of places to enjoy spending a little money.  So, Ladies, lace up your sneakers, grab that cute face mask, and clutch your favorite cross body bag because guilt-free shopping is allowed during football games here along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Are you looking for a fun souvenir?  Look no farther than everyone’s favorite “shark store”  and island staple, Souvenir City!  They have an amazing variety of items to choose from.  From fudge to hermit crabs, clothes to magnets, there is no shortage of choices and it’s no wonder they have been in Gulf Shores since 1956.  Don’t miss the opportunity to take selfies of yourselves as you walk right through the giant open mouth of a shark as you enter the store.  Your social media followers will love this!   If you’re wanting a little more than a mega-souvenir store can offer, take a short trip to Foley to the Tanger Outlet Mall Located right on Alabama Highway 59 in Foley, you’ll find nearly 100 outlet stores just ready and waiting to offer you one of the best shopping experiences anywhere!  

 3         It’s OK to Order Take Out

Under normal circumstances, when you’re able to watch a football game from your stadium seats, you would order food from the stadium concession stands.  But nothing is normal about 2020 or this football season.  You’re not going to be at the stadium.  That doesn’t mean you cannot still order your favorite snacks to enjoy during the game.  The good news is, the super nice and really talented folks at Orange Beach Concierge will blow your mind with the great food they’ll prepare for you. Forget hotdogs and nachos. Give your stomach a break from traditional stadium food and try their New Orleans Taste.  Be sure to call to place your order ahead of your arrival and they will even deliver your food right to your beach home!  Or stop by and visit them at The Wharf to pick up your take-out order.    Whether you’re lounging on the deck at Beach Time waiting for kickoff or are already in full-foam-finger-mode at Happy Clam, you cannot go wrong with appetizers or a great meal prepared by Chef David at Orange Beach Concierge!  Remember toplan ahead and order your ballgame day take-outfrom Orange Beach Concierge’s “The Pantry”  and make your football weekend experience with Sunset Properties one for the record books! 

 4         After the Game, There’s the Beach

 We know watching college football can be a blood pressure raising experience.  Pair the intensity of the game with the sometimes-suffocating heat from the stadium seats, followed by hours of traffic jams, and it can be challenging to just enjoy the rest of your afternoon or evening after the game ends.  Plus, when you’re in Tuscaloosa or Auburn or Knoxville or even Starkville and the game’s over, then what?  You go home, right? Or go to a friend’s place or maybe hit a club or two.  No matter where you go, you’re definitely going to sit in traffic.  But not here!  After your favorite game ends and you’re in our neighborhood, you can go to the beach!  No traffic.  No crowds.  No hassles.  The beach! And your favorite team jersey, paired with flip flops, is the perfect beach attire!  And let’s face it, the best beaches anywhere are right outside your vacation home’s front or back door, so how could you even resist?  Thirty-two miles of pristinely white sand are just waiting for you and your fan friends to enjoy.  Now that you’re not yelling at the refs on TV, go find the perfect beach spot, sit in the cool sand, relax, destress and enjoy the soothing sounds of the Gulf of Mexico

 5        After the Beach, There’s Coastal Nightlife

So, we helped you find a great place to tailgate and watch the game.  We suggested great food to enjoy and you visited our Alabama Gulf Coast beaches.  We have one more suggestion before you call it quits and pack up to head for home tomorrow.  Have a little nightlife fun before you leave.  Even though the pandemic has changed how our beach fun looks, it has not eliminated it.  We are taking all the precautions we can to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, but we are still enjoying all the great things available here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. Your Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches are open!  The Flora-Bama, located on the Alabama Florida state line is open and they would love to see you.  Live Bait which is located on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach is open and often they have live entertainment.  The world famous Pink Pony Pub located in the heart of Gulf Shores is also open.  And so are The Wharf Ferris Wheel and Scoop’s Ice Cream Shop.  Many, many of your favorite beach stops are open and operating under different guidelines, and they are looking forward to seeing you.  Don’t leave our area until you have experienced at least one fun extracurricular outing. After all, you’ve been making memories with your best football friends all weekend, why not make just a few more before you head home?

 All of us at Sunset Properties are taking this pandemic seriously.  Like our neighbors, we are operating under different circumstances and providing extra cleaning and encouraging social distancing.  We don’t want anyone to be sick.  We also know that this, too, will pass.  While we are in the midst of our “new normal” we want you to know you are welcome to enjoy your favorite college football games in one of our beautiful, clean beach vacation homes.  Give us a call to set up your reservation or go online and book it yourself.  We are happy to provide you a “no contact” check-in and departure.  We, at Sunset Properties, are your biggest fans!  So, grab your college sweetheart and bring your team spirit to the Alabama Gulf Coast this football season and experience a winner of a football weekend getaway! 

www.sunsetproperties.com

Watch College Football at the Beach?  Absolutely!251-543-1370

It’s Fall along the Alabama Gulf Coast! It’s Shrimp Feastival Time!

Like y’all, we at Sunset Properties were all pretty bummed when we heard the 2020 Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores was cancelled due to the pandemic and amidst COVID-19 concerns.  We love supporting our Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and gathering with our besties and hanging out for hours at the Shrimp Festival and it hit us pretty hard when we found out this year’s event was cancelled.  But, here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, we always try to make the best of any situation and we started thinking about finding other ways to celebrate our favorite local crustacean and still manage to stay within the CDC guidelines for social distancing.

We decided to have our own Shrimp Feast-ival!  And we think you might like our idea…so here goes:   You were planning on coming to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan anyway with your family or closest friends, right?  So, go ahead and come on down and spend a weekend with us Feasting on our favorite local seafood Alabama Gulf Shrimp!  But, where should we go?  Well, that’s easy thanks to Sunny 105.7 FM, our local radio station.  Each year, they hold a People’s Choice Awards allowing locals to choose their faves, and this year’s winners were just announced.  Here are some great places to have your own 2020 Shrimp Feast-ival by visiting our 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners:

Duck’s Diner

This year’s winner of the People’s Choice Award for breakfast and lunch is one of our faves, too. We have to give a big ole shout out to the fine folks at Duck’s Diner in Orange Beach.  Start your Shrimp Feastival at Duck’s for breakfast. This fun restaurant is located at 4560 Easy Street, right off Canal Road in Orange Beach.  We love their shrimp and cheese omelet and we think you will, too. Pair it with a side of French toast and a slice of tomato and you’re talking about a plate full of island goodness!  If coffee is your breakfast drink of choice, you can have it with or without Bailey’s Irish Cream.  And if a Bloody Mary rounds out your perfect morning meal, make sure to order one while you’re dining at Duck’s.  Congratulations to Duck’s Diner for being named a Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner!

DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen

If you haven’t been to DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen, before now, you have really been missing out!  DeSoto’s was voted this year’s People’s Choice Winner for the Dinner Restaurant category, but this isn’t their first win.  DeSoto’s has been consistently providing great food and a wonderful atmosphere for more years than we can count.  They are located a block off Gulf Shores Parkway at 138 West 1st Avenue.  They offer inside and outside dining.  But what will you eat while your Feastival-ing?  That’s easy!  Steamed Royal Reds!  (Royal Red Shrimp 1 lb).  You may not know it, but you do want this! (thank us later!) What are Royal Reds, you ask? Royal Reds are beautiful crimson shrimp.  They are larger than other shrimp, much sweeter and have a texture like a lobster.  They can be harvested all year long, but their actual “season” is from mid summer to late fall, making October a great month to enjoy them.  How perfect is that?  You’re planning on coming to your own Shrimp Feastival and we believe you’re coming at the exact perfect time to enjoy the best our island has to offer!  Congratulations to the whole crew at DeSoto’s, 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Winner, for yet another thumbs up from your island neighbors and friends!

Papa Rocco’s

This year’s winner for best place to eat pizza should surprise no one.  Papa Rocco’s (home of warm beer, lousy pizza–not really!)  since 1985, is one of our favorites, too.  How will you celebrate your Shrimp Feastival with these guys?  We don’t even have to ponder that a second…order Papa Rocco’s Seafood Primavera Pizza.  Don’t even think about it, just do it.  Then pair it with a seriously cold beer and enjoy!  Your pizza will be slam full of perfectly cooked seafood, including your little celebratory crustacean, and overflowing with melty-gooey-cheese.  If that doesn’t make your mouth water just thinking about it, your tongue must be sleeping!  Wake it up and don’t miss an opportunity to stop by Papa Rocco’s located at 101 West 6th Avenue, right off Gulf Shores Parkway, while you’re in Gulf Shores.  Congratulations to our buddies at Papa Rocco’s Pizza for being named a 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner!  

Tacky Jack’s

You cannot really have the complete Shrimp Feastival experience without enjoying the best atmosphere along the Alabama Gulf Coast, so you definitely need to stop by Tacky Jack’s and you’ll quickly see why they were voted this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner for Island Atmosphere. And while you’re at Tacky Jacks, you can have your choice of “feastible” shrimp.  We love the Firecracker Shrimp.  But it comes with a bit of a bang!  So, if you’d rather enjoy something a little less explosive, go with everyone’s favorite Peel & Eat Shrimp.  No matter which you choose, if you’re in the mood for an adult beverage, we suggest having a bushwacker while you’re there. Tacky Jacks has three locations on our island, so no matter if you’re staying with Sunset Properties at the Caribe in Orange Beach, or at Lighthouse 607 in Gulf Shores or at Dream in Fort Morgan, there is a Tacky Jacks, complete with the best Island Atmosphere around, near you!  Congratulations to all our friends at Tacky Jacks for being one of this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners!  We are definitely fans, too!

Flora-Bama

What kind of festival or Feastival would be complete without a trip to the World Famous Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar?  It just so happens that our friends at our favorite local beach bar/honky tonk won the People’s Choice Awards for Best Live Music.  We were so not surprised to hear this.  After all, The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival starts and ends with the Flora-Bama.  You can hear some of the best music anywhere when it’s Songwriters Season!  But for your Shrimp Feastival, what do we recommend?  Visit the Ole River Grill and order Key Lime Shrimp and enjoy this unique appetizer outside on their open air deck.  The food and service are fantastic and the view is phenomenal!  The Old River Grill is located at 17400 Perdido Key Drive in Perdido Key, Florida, which is (as we say) just on the other side of Orange Beach right across the Florida State Line.  No Shrimp Feastival weekend would be complete without at least one stop at the Flora-Bama! Congratulations to the whole team at the Flora-Bama for being chosen this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner for Best Live Music!

We know 2020 has been a year of uncomfortable changes resulting from the pandemic.   Having a year without the Annual National Shrimp Festival is unlike one we’ve seen in over 45 years.   We, at Sunset Properties, want you to know that even though we are saddened by all the cancellations that have happened this year, that we take your health and the health of our team seriously.  The Alabama Gulf Coast is open.  Our beaches are open.  Fun places to play are open.  Great places to eat are open.  Sunset Properties is open.  We are open and operating under the guidelines set forth by health officials.  And you are welcome to come hang out with us.  If your kids are attending school virtually this year, why not come on down?  Use the Wi-Fi in our vacation homes and enjoy the view of the pristine Alabama Beaches as the kiddos learn.  If you’re working remotely, go ahead and pack up your laptop and head south.  Why not set up your office right on a balcony facing the Gulf? And if you had planned time off to attend the Shrimp Festival, why not come anyway and have your own Shrimp Feastival?!  Give us a call, and we’ll get your reservation ready.  See you this fall in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan!

********************

Helpful links:

For more information on this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners, check out Sunny 105’s website and Facebook page.

For more information on The Annual National Shrimp Festival or to shop their online store,

check out their website and

to virtually visit our Coastal Alabama Business Chamber click here.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370



Beat the Mid-Summer Heat! Keep Cool and Social Distance in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach

We know you guys are all too familiar with the social distancing guidelines.  Stay six feet apart.  Wear a lower face covering when possible.  If you’re sick, stay home.  Here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we are becoming pros at keeping ourselves masked, separated and healthy, as well.  This has been pretty easy for the spring and much of the early summer.  When it’s not so hot, taking a walk on the  sand or sitting under an umbrella enjoying a good novel are great ways to social distance at the beach.  But what do you do when it feels so scorching hot outside that you limit your beach time to only part of the day, but you still need to escape the four walls of your vacation home without melting?

Here are five ways to Keep Cool and Social Distance While You’re in Gulf Shores:

Parasail over the Gulf of Mexico

Some folks have asked us what is parasailing?  Well, it’s actually being towed behind a boat while you’re hooked to a parachute.  It’s kind of the best way everrrrr to watch marine life in the Gulf without actually being in the water! How it works is simple.  You’ll get your parachute on and climb inside a boat and travel in the Gulf just offshore.  You’ll still be able to see your buddies on the beach and they will be able to get some great pics of you!   Once you’re out in the Gulf a few yards and ready to take off, you’ll find yourself flying up out of the water behind the boat pulling you in just a matter of minutes.  Forget trying to count six feet to social distance, while parasailing, you’ll go as high as eight-hundred feet over the water and just ride in the air. The good folks at Blue Sky Parasail and Watersports would love to have you join them for one of their outings.  The rates to parasail are very reasonable and the memories you’ll make are immeasurable.  If social distancing and staying cool are two of your goals while you’re vacationing with Sunset Properties in Gulf Shores, parasailing over the Gulf of Mexico needs to be on your list!  

Bike from Gulf Shores to Orange Beach

Lots of folks love to bike around our island.  We know taking a trip from Gulf Shores to Orange Beach with a few fun stops on the way will be a great way to social distance and keep cool.  Why not rent a bike at Tiki’s Bike Shack located on Gulf Shores Parkway next to what we “old tymers” remember as Zooland Mini Golf (now Tiki’s Mini Golf) and ride from there down Gulf Shores Parkway and turn left toward Orange Beach.  Of course, while you’re still on Gulf Shores Parkway, you’ll want to stop at Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream and just get a scoop or two for the road.  When you make the turn onto highway 182 also called Beach Boulevard, be sure to stop by our public beach in Gulf Shores and just spend a few minutes enjoying the sounds of the Gulf.  There really is nothing better than the feeling of the Gulf breeze on your skin in the middle of the summer.  Once you’re back on your way toward Orange Beach, you’ll see one of our favorite restaurants sitting out on the Gulf Side of the Lighthouse condos.  Be sure to stop in at Sea-N-Suds for a cold adult beverage and some of the best gumbo anywhere.  If you happen to be staying with Sunset Properties in Lighthouse 607, you already know about Sea N Suds!  Your adventure shouldn’t end here, though.   So, keep pedaling!  You’re only about ten miles from the heart of Orange Beach and the scenery along the way is spectacular!

Ride a jet ski in our beautiful back bays

Orange Beach is not only a fisherman’s paradise, but also one of the best places to ride jet skis!  While you’re social distancing, why not give it a try?  Our back bays, places like Bay La Launch and Wolf Bay, are brimming with sea life this time of year.  Dolphins will almost surely swim alongside you as you ride. Sea gulls and cranes are all along the shoreline.  While you’re out riding our back bays, be sure to visit Pirate’s Cove Restaurant and Marina and have a burger and a bushwacker!  If you’re staying with us at Grand Caribbean 425, a tastefully decorated two bedroom/ one and half bath condo (the perfect size for social distancing!), you are only a few minutes away from where this cool water adventure can start.   Visit the good folks at Alabama Extreme Watersports to schedule your jet ski rental and let the fun begin!

Slingshot yourself to Fort Morgan

We cannot think of a better way to cool off during the steaming summer days than to take a ride in a convertible, unless it’s riding in a Slingshot.  Slingshots are a kind of crazy cool cross between a convertible car and a three-wheel motorbike.  The good folks at Coyote Beach Sports in Gulf Shores will get you set up and on your way in no time!  Two people can ride comfortably, as long as one of you can drive a car with a manual transmission.  You should start from your condo at Crystal Tower 1406 in the West Beach area of Gulf Shores and travel out Fort Morgan Road until you reach the historic fort site.  The twenty-two mile ride out to the fort is such a nice ride and your scenery will change from hundred year old water oaks, to peeks at our lagoon, to passing beside Shell Banks Baptist Church and the old Indian village site.  Eventually you will be driving alongside Mobile Bay and end up at Fort Morgan where the Gulf and the bay meet.  This is a great ride and a great way to social distance and keep cool!

Go for a swim

Swimming is one of the best ways to cool off while social distancing.  Most pools have ten person-limit in the pool areas to help fight the spread of COVID-19.  However, the Gulf of Mexico is big enough to handle us all!  If swimming in the Gulf appeals to you and you want to be just a short walk away from the public beach in Gulf Shores, stay with Sunset Properties at Beachview 223.  This vacation home is a cozy one bedroom apartment on the second floor directly across the street from the world famous Pink Pony Pub and the amazingly white sandy beaches we all love!  Speaking of white sandy beaches, check out Beach Front 301!  This condo located on West Beach Boulevard is literally just steps away from our beautiful beaches!  Remember to social distance on the beach and only hang out with folks you know.  But swimming in the Gulf is a great way to get your splash on without having to worry about the ten-person limit at our pools.

We know the necessary social distancing thing can be a challenge when you’re trying to decide what to do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan and avoid spreading the awful coronavirus.  We also know that with a little bit of creativity, you can still have a super fun vacation.  At Sunset Properties, we are taking extra precautions to keep your vacation homes guest-ready and safe.  If you’re wondering what we’ve been up to regarding this, be sure to check out our COVID-19 Updates Page.  We are looking forward to your arrival!  The beach is calling and social distancing can be a cool thing, so come on down!!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Top 10 Reasons To Go Fishing in Gulf Shores in the Fall

The reasons to fish the waters along the Alabama Gulf Coast in the fall are many.  Local anglers will tell you to plan your trip, come on down and expect to have a great time while you’re here.  We will tell you that there are lots of reasons to Go Fishing in Gulf Shores in the Fall, but here are our top ten:

1       The Temperature is Great

The weather in the fall in Gulf Shores is fabulous.  The days are usually warm following a cool start and the nights are comfortable.  Be sure to pack sunscreen when you come down.  Even though the sun’s rays are longer this time of year, you can still get a sunburn while you’re fishing.  Remember, the rays reflect off the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and off our crystal white sandy beaches and you can get a quick sunburn without even realizing it.  Also, pack both shorts and jeans.  We’re pretty sure you’ll need both.  Don’t forget a windbreaker or light rain jacket.  We do get a little rain here in the fall, but it usually doesn’t last long.  And pack your shades.  As the days cool in the fall the sun seems to shine brighter.  Shades and visors are a must for any fall outdoor activities, especially activities like fishing where water reflects the sun’s rays.

2       Charters are Easy to Get

Fishing charters leave out of Orange Beach all year long.  Fall fishing is a great excuse to book a charter and go a few miles off shore.   The good folks at Orange Beach Fishing Charters and Fishing Guides are ready to help you get started.  With off-shore, near shore and deep sea fishing options available, you’re sure to find just what you’re looking for.  Several of our favorite charter companies leave out of Zeke’s Marina.  For years, the good folks at Zeke’s have been ready to get locals and guests alike out on the open waters of the Gulf.  Another option is Gulf Rebel Charter Fishing.  For over 50 years, these folks have been taking fishermen and ladies right to the best spots to catch the most fish.  Gulf Rebel Charters is a local family owned business.  Still haven’t found what you’re looking for?  Give Extreme Chaos Inshore Charters a try!  This is one inshore fishing experience your whole family is sure to love!

3       Great Fish are in Season

Fishing is great along the Alabama Gulf Coast all year long and fall is no exception.  Dolphinfish like dolphin, dorado and mahi-mahi are in season all summer and through October.  Bull Redfish are also in season.  Flounder is a local fave and can be caught through October in our area.  Several species of grouper are also in season.  We love fresh Gulf GrouperCobia is another local favorite and it is in season through October.  Whether you’re fishing from our famous Gulf State Park Pier or from one of our local charter boats, we are sure you will catch something great to eat while you’re here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan.  If you can’t enjoy it here, pack it well in ice and take it home for a mid-winter feast you’re sure to enjoy!

4       Accommodations are Affordable

Lodging is a bit less expensive in the fall than it is in summer months.  With our tourist season winding down, we are able to offer nightly stays at reduced rates.  Usually, we have a greater selection of available properties to choose from, as well.  If you’re looking for a beach home to rent while you’re planning your fall fishing getaway adventure, check out Spunky Sandpiper.  This three bedroom beach home located in the Fort Morgan community sleeps up to twelve folks.  You can bring all your best buds on your fishing weekend and all stay together in this great home!  If a more unique beach home appeals to you, take a look at The Boathouse.  This boat shaped home is right on Mobile Bay and offers spectacular views!  It has two bedrooms and sleeps up to seven.  Small dogs are also welcome here with some restrictions.   Another great option for your fishing adventure is Navy Cove 1207.  This lovely condominium features two bedrooms and two bathrooms and sleeps up to six.  Additionally, it has its own boat slip.  That can be a definite plus for any angler!

5       Dining Out Is Quicker

With less folks visiting in our area in the fall than there are in the summer months, dining out is usually much quicker.  Lines at local restaurants are shorter and the whole experience can be much more relaxed and enjoyable.  This can be a real plus if you’ve been out fishing all day and you’re tired and hungry.  While you’re here, be sure to check out some of our favorite places.  For breakfast, you really should give the Ruby Slipper Cafe a try.  We love all of their eggs benedict choices.  And their coffee is second to none.  For lunch, stop by and see the good folks at Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill on Fort Morgan Road.  Their seafood entrees are all excellent.  Would you rather have a great burger while you’re in our area?  You must try the World Famous Keg Burger at The Keg Lounge and Grill on Canal Road.  Don’t let the name fool you.  It’s not just a bar, it’s a great little hidden treasure.  They have a wonderful kids menu, too.

6       The Beaches are Less Crowded

Our beautiful beaches are less crowded, too.  If long quiet walks collecting shells without the hustle and bustle of the summer crowd appeals to you, you’re in luck!  Fall vacationers find our beaches easier to access and more peaceful than in the summer months.  Truly the lazy days of fall appeal to many.  If you’re one of those people who enjoys listening to the sounds of the waves, reading a good book and enjoying the warmth of the sun without the heat of summer, you’re going to love Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan in the fall.  Once you’re through with your fishing charter, we encourage you to take a blanket out onto our beautiful beaches and just enjoy watching the stars in the night sky.  

7       Festivals are in Full Swing

Fall is not only fishing season along our Alabama Gulf Coast, but it’s also festival season!  Be sure to plan your fishing adventure weekend to include one of our great locally produced festival activities.  Festivals celebrating seafood, musicians, and birds are just a few of the great events we have planned for the next few months. The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival lasts for several days in November and can be found at many venues.  Check out their website for details.  For a complete list of our festivals, read our blog entitled Four Fall Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.   While fishing is a great reason to come this fall, our festivals may just be the reason you want to stay a little longer.

8       Nightlife Rocks

The Nightlife here in our area never disappoints.  In addition to the great music you’ll find all around our island during the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival, you’ll also find music playing at all of our favorite places.  Live Bait Food and Spirits is known for its great entertainment.  Be sure to try their Greek Nachos, too, while you’re there!  The Hangout in Gulf Shores has become world famous for their entertainment.  Even though Hangout Music Fest is in May, we’re sure you’ll find some enjoyable moments at the Hangout this fall!  And don’t forget to stop by The Wharf after dark.  The Ferris Wheel never disappoints and offers a breathtaking view of our island!  And the Spectra light show offers nightlife fun for the whole family.  After all, young anglers need to have fun, too!  

9       Golf is Right Around Every Corner

What better way to make a fishing weekend extra fun than to add a golf outing to it?  With great weather all fall long in our neighborhood, why wouldn’t you do just that?  Golf courses are all over our beautiful island home and golf packages are very easy to get this time of year.  Whether you want to golf at a course Arnold Palmer designed or at one of the oldest and best kept courses around, Gulf Shores Golf Club, your choices are abundant.  For a complete list to all the courses around, check out our blog about best places to golf.  We encourage you to book a golf outing while you’re here.  After all, why not experience the best we have to offer, both on land and at sea?

10     Who Really Needs a Reason to Fish Anyway?

Seriously!  Come on…who does need a reason to fish?  Fishing is one of the most relaxing sports around and it can end up being the most exciting!  Fishing is something we can take our kids along to and do with our parents.  Fishing creates an opportunity to make unforgettable memories and can provide food as well as entertainment.  After you think about, you really don’t need a reason to fish….just a time and a place!

Come on down to the Alabama Gulf Coast this fall and fish, golf, enjoy our nightlife and stay with Sunset Properties while you do it all.  We are looking forward to your arrival and we are here to help you with your reservation or to answer any questions about any of the fun activities we have going on in our area.  Go ahead!  Make a plan!  Come on and Fish!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Four Fall Festivals You Shouldn’t Miss in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

We know when you plan your vacation to the Alabama Gulf Coast, visiting our sandy white beaches is always at the top of your list.  We get it. Everyone loves listening to the sounds of the waves hitting the shore and watching the seagulls play overhead.  In the summer, the beach is all abuzz with swimmers, surfers and watercraft riders.  There are so many things to do right there on the beach, you may not think about anything else.  But what about when the fall comes?  Trips tend to be shorter and the beaches are not quite as busy as they are in the summer.  What is there to do in the fall when you only have a couple of days to enjoy South Baldwin County?  We want you to know about Four Fall Festivals you shouldn’t miss while you’re in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  From seafood, to wildlife, to some of the best music and art anywhere, fall festival season down here is just getting started!  You really need to come on down to Coastal Alabama, stay with Sunset Properties and check these out:

Alabama Coastal BirdFest

The 16th Annual Alabama Coastal Birdfest:  A Birding & Nature Festival will be held October 2-5, 2019.  BirdFest showcases great bird- and nature-watching spots all around Baldwin and Mobile counties, including Fort Morgan, Dauphin Island, Weeks Bay, Gulf Shores, and more. BirdFest offers excellent bird and nature watching experiences for both experts and novices alike.  Festival goers can expect to see a wide variety of coastal and migratory birds, alligators, dolphins and an array of local wildflowers.  Many BirdFest activities are ticketed, however there is one event that is free to the public.  In addition to the different ticketed locations of this festival, a Bird and Conservation Expo is planned for Saturday, October 5, 2019 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Fairhope campus of Coastal Alabama Community College in the Halstead Amphitheatre.  This outdoor expo is free to the public and everyone is invited.  The 16th Annual Alabama Coastal Birdfest is a production of The Weeks Bay Foundation and proceeds will benefit this local conservation group.

Annual National Shrimp Festival

A production of the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber, The 48th Annual National Shrimp Festival is planned for October 10-13, 2019 at the public beach area in the heart of Gulf Shores.  The Shrimp Festival, a locally produced and nationally recognized festival celebrating one of our favorite crustaceans, continues to be volunteer-driven.  Dozens of locals come together and collaborate to produce one of the best food, music, arts and crafts festivals anywhere.   This year’s music lineup is sure to please all who attend.  Look for musicians to be performing on two stages.  Groups expected to perform include:  The Tip Tops, Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster,  and the Velcro Pygmies.  There will be tribute bands celebrating the music of Def Leppard, Elvis and AC/DC.  Local faves Tophat & Jackie, Brent Burns and Elaine Petty are also scheduled.  Be sure to check out the fine arts area featuring local and national artisans.  And don’t forget the food.  As is tradition, we expect to have shrimp in all kinds of recipes.  We love our Alabama Gulf Shrimp and hope you will try some while you’re here.  The Annual National Shrimp Festival is free to the public.  For guidelines on what you can bring into the festival site or for shuttle stop locations, check out their website.  We will see you there!

Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend

If you thought the Annual National Shrimp Festival was the last thing going on this fall along the Alabama Gulf Coast, think again!  We have a couple of more festivals you need to try!  Join several of your besties at the Hangout in Gulf Shores November 1-2, 2019 for the 12th Annual Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend.  This ticketed event is slam full of all the things we love about Gulf Shores:  beachfront, seafood, music, good friends and fun!  While not every oyster will give you a pearl, you’re sure to make a treasure chest full of memories when you meet your friends at the Hangout in early November.  There will be restaurant tastings, celebrity chefs cooking and craft beer sampling.  You can expect cocktail demos and an oyster shucking contest.  There will be a champagne lounge and a tailgating experience.  In addition to all this, there will be live music right on site!  Your ticket covers so much, we can’t even list it all here.  But you can check it all out for yourself on the Oyster Cook-Off and Craft Spirits & Beer Weekend website.  Everyone knows the Hangout is always a great place to…well…hang out…but when they do a festival, they do it up right!  Be sure to put this weekend on your calendar and stay with Sunset Properties while you’re in our neighborhood.  We have several condos and beach homes that are really close to the Hangout and we are sure we can find you the perfect place to stay!

Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival

Since 1984, the good folks at The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store have produced the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival.   This eleven-day multi-venue event will take place November 7-17, 2019 in both Alabama and Florida along our beautiful Gulf Coast.  Named for a beloved night watchman at the Flora-Bama, the late Frank Brown, this festival celebrates people who otherwise might not get public recognition.  This unique festival allows seasoned song-writers and up-and-comers alike, the opportunity to showcase their talents.  Because this festival “moves” from venue to venue, festival goers not only are exposed to a variety of songwriting talent, but also get to experience the best our coastal communities have to offer in food and drinks.  This year the Southeast Tourism Society has named the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival one of the Top 20 STS Events in the Southeast for November 2019.  With great venues like The Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store, the Coastal Arts Center in Orange Beach, Lucy Buffet’s Lulu’s in Gulf Shores and the Sandshaker at The Wharf, we are inclined to agree.  We can’t wait to see songwriters like Mac Davis, Dean Dillon and Mark Dreyer perform.  For a list of all songwriters represented, check out their website.  

The summer may be over down here along our Alabama Gulf Coast, but the fun sure isn’t!  We hope to see you this fall.  Whether you’re just coming down for one of our great festivals or to stay for a couple of weeks, we at Sunset Properties are anxiously awaiting your arrival!  We have condos and beach homes located in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  We have vacation rental properties that will sleep from 2 to 22 and everything in between.  Want to bring your fur baby with you for your fall getaway?  We’ve got you covered on that, too!  So go ahead, plan your festival outing and plan on staying with us at Sunset Properties.  

Happy Fall, Y’all! 

We’ll see ya soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Best Places to Golf in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan

When you think about the pristine white beaches of beautiful coastal Alabama and all there is to do in our neighborhood, going golfing might not come to mind.  In your mind’s eye, you may envision brightly colored parasails being towed behind ski boats or, perhaps the tall extended outriggers of a shrimp boat.  Maybe you think of the familiar blue and white striped umbrellas and beach chairs that decorate our beaches.  Or maybe you just smile at the thought of enjoying a local musician play on a restaurant deck while you slowly sip a perfectly prepared Bushwacker.  Whether golf comes to mind or not, it is certainly true that Gulf Shores and our surrounding communities are blessed with some of the best golf courses anywhere.  If golfing is a sport you’re passionate about or something you’d just like to try while you’re on vacation, we want you to know where to go.  Here is a list of our five favorite golf courses in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan:

  • Craft Farms Golf Resort

Craft Farms Golf Resort is one of the top resorts in the country.  The Cotton Creek Course and The Cypress Bend Course were both designed by the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer.  With perfectly trimmed fairways and surrounding areas unmatched in beauty, these 18 hole courses are a must for any golfer, pro or otherwise.  You will enjoy beautifully furnished clubhouses and be assisted by a knowledgeable and professional staff.  These courses are both challenging and entertaining.   Craft Farms Golf Resort is located at 3840 Cotton Creek Circle in Gulf Shores.  Check out their website for tee times and fees.  Make it a point to go by and visit Craft Farms while you’re in our area.  You never know, Arnold Palmer may have just designed the perfect course for You!

  • Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf

The Golf Course at Kiva Dunes has just over 7,100 yards of play area and is one of the top courses in Alabama.  Located just off Fort Morgan Road at 815 Plantation Road, Kiva Dunes is a completely public course.  In April 2018, it was ranked the top public course in Alabama by Golf Advisor.  Reviewers complimented the course as well as the staff.  Because of its unique location, literally between The Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay, the winds change frequently.  The course, itself, changes with the winds and each golfing experience at Kiva will be a unique one. For tee times and fees, visit Kiva Dunes online.

  • Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club 

Also located just off Fort Morgan Road, Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is another of our local favorites.  Peninsula offers three separate 9 hole courses:  Lakes, Cypress and Marsh and we encourage you to play all three.  Combine two of the three to make an 18-hole round.  Each provides a distinctly different challenge and reward.  Finding this type of variety in one resort location is not always easy.  Make sure to visit the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club website  to learn about tee times and fees.  Don’t forget to put Peninsula on your list of courses to check out while you’re staying with Sunset Properties.

  • One Club Golf

For one of the most distinctive golfing experiences around, try One Club Golf.  Along with traditional golfing outings, One Club Golf offers golfing after dark.  This fun and unique way to enjoy the sport is sure to please anyone.  With Sunset Golf, Glow Golf and Golf Happy Hour, we are sure everyone in your family will have a blast.  Conveniently located at 4000 Gulf Shores Parkway in Gulf Shores, One Club Golf is located only a short distance from most any beach home in our inventory.

  • Gulf Shores Golf Club 

Located in the heart of Gulf Shores at 520 Clubhouse Drive, Gulf Shores Golf Club is a semi-private club.  Guests are welcome to play this top-rated Alabama golf course, along with members.   This beautifully kept 18-hole course is home to several local non-golfing residents.  Raccoons, squirrels and alligators can sometimes be found on or near the course.  The course has some challenging holes, as well.  Trees and ponds make navigating this local favorite fun and exciting. While you’re here, be sure to visit the Pro Shop and clubhouse.  Gulf Shores Golf Club, built in the 1960s, is an icon in our area and we know you will want to visit it while you’re in our neighborhood.  Be sure to check out their website to make your reservation while you’re in town!

As a bonus to this blog, we don’t want to miss an opportunity to highlight our favorite place to practice.   The City of Orange Beach has opened Orange Beach Golf Center located at 4700 Easy Street in Orange Beach.  Easy Street is just off Canal Road near The Wharf in Orange Beach.  The Orange Beach Golf Center features 9-hole course with a lighted driving range, practice putting/chipping greens, practice sand bunker, and a Pro Shop.  This golf venue is so lovely and well-kept.  We encourage island guests to visit The Orange Beach Golf Center for a relaxing afternoon of golf.

We know many of you come to visit our beaches and stay with us at Sunset Properties and golf isn’t even in your plans.  You may not have even known about all the great ways to enjoy the sport in our coastal towns.  We encourage you to venture out and try something new.  You and your family may just fall in love with golfing here with us in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  If you’re already an avid golfer, and you knew about all our great courses, we encourage you to give Sunset Properties a try!  Our vacation homes range from one bedroom condos to multi-bedroom luxury beach homes.  We have homes that welcome small dogs and homes with private pools, and pretty much anything in between.  Just as we are sure you will find your best golf experience here in our area, we are equally sure you will find your perfect Sunset Properties vacation home.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Top 10 Ways to Destress in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan for Labor Day Weekend 2019

T

With Labor Day 2019 right around the corner, we know you’re probably trying to squeeze in one last summer beach vacation getaway.  At Sunset Properties, we are ready for your arrival.  Not only are we looking forward to you coming to visit us along the Alabama Gulf Coast, we have ten great ideas how to spend your Labor Day 2019 stress-free and without laboring at all!

  1. Relax under a beach umbrella and read a book

How does stretching out one last time this summer on a beach chair, book in hand, as you relax to the unmatched sounds of the waves of The Gulf of Mexico sound?  To us it sounds pretty good!  Be sure to pack your sunscreen.  We know it’s late in the season, but you can still catch a pretty bad burn if you’re not careful.  So pack your favorite novel, your cozy towel, and come on down to Gulf Shores, stay in Dunes 401, located in the Fort Morgan community, and you beach relaxation moment is only a few steps away!  

  • Watch the sun rise and set from your own beach home balcony

Maybe you’re an early riser.  Why not enjoy a hot cup of coffee as you watch the sun come up over The Gulf from your own private balcony in Indies 603?  Maybe you’d rather sleep in.  We get it.  After all, you’re on vacation.  Well, be sure to watch one of the last summer day’s sunsets with an amazing view of Perdido Pass and Alabama Point from Caribe C Penthouse 14.  With a view unlike any other on the island, this penthouse with its exquisite decor is perfectly placed for amazing views any time of day.

  • Stroll the boardwalks at Wade Ward Nature Park

The boardwalks at Wade Ward Park, located over an amazing wetland area in the heart of Gulf Shores, provide a place for a relaxing stroll.  You’ll be able to become a part of your surroundings while walking safely above any wildlife that could seem threatening.  This city park is located only about five minutes from your vacation home Lighthouse 607.  So getting here won’t create any stress, either.

  • Watch the tide ebb and flow under the Gulf State Park Pier

The Gulf State Park Pier has almost a half mile of railing and the view underneath changes almost minute-by-minute.  We’ve heard about people who have glass aquariums or fish bowls in their offices for stress relief.  We suggest taking a walk out on our pier to enjoy an unmatched view of the best natural open aquarium anywhere:  The Gulf of Mexico.  You’re almost guaranteed to see schools of fish swimming in the waves no matter what time you go visit the pier.  For extra entertainment, make it a night trip.  The waves lapping against the pier make a sound that is soothing to not only your ears, but also to your mind, body and soul.   Couple that with the feel of the night air along the Alabama Gulf Coast, and we believe you’ll forget all about labor of any sort.

  • Watch the boats travel through Perdido Pass

Just steps from Caribe C Penthouse 14, is Perdido Pass.  This is one of our favorite fishing spots.  But if fishing seems too much like work to you, just find a bench and watch the boats go in and out from our back bays.  We’ve also seen sea turtles swim by and you may even catch a glimpse of a manatee or two.   This is definitely a relaxing way to spend a few lazy hours while you’re in Orange Beach.

  • Watch the sunset over Mobile Bay

From your deck at Navy Cove 2113, you’ll have a spectacular view of the sunset over Mobile Bay.  Why not fix yourself a cold beverage and just sit back on your private deck and watch the summer sun’s rays fade away into the bay.  As the summer draws to an end, the sun’s rays seem to soften and stretch across the bay in a way you can only see this time of year.  Make plans to stay in one evening and see for yourself.

  • Watch the dolphins play at Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Have you ever been to Orange Beach Waterfront Park?  This is a great place for a family picnic and to spend an afternoon enjoying the outdoors. You can also walk out on the pier and you might be able to see dolphins playing just off shore in Wolf Bay. With clean public restrooms and a large kids area, this family friendly local park is a great place to relax and unwind.  There is no charge to use the park and everyone is welcome.

  • Kick back and float in your beach home’s pool

We cannot forget about this special way to relax and recharge.  All of our condominium beach homes have pools on site.  Many of our beach houses have pools available in their communities and a couple of our homes have private pools attached to them.  Check out Dream, Kiva and Sip N Sea to see what a luxury beach home with a private pool looks like.  Talk about a great way to spend a few hours before you have to return to work.  Bring your float and kick back and let the gentle rolling waters of your nearest pool wash away your stress.

  • Walk your fur baby at Unleashed Dog Park in Orange Beach

We know walking your fur baby at home is relaxing.  Why not bring your furry kiddo to the beach with you and walk him or her at Orange Beach’s own doggie park:  UnleashedSunset Properties has several homes that allow small dogs with some restrictions, so bringing your four legged friend on your weekend vacation can be stress-free, too!

10.    Shell hunt on Fort Morgan Beach

For some of the best treasures the Gulf can provide, we suggest walking Fort Morgan Beach.  Because the waves of the Mobile Bay are softer and gentler than those the Gulf produces, we often find larger shells and sand dollars on Fort Morgan Beach.  Remember, any artifacts you may uncover belong to the Fort and cannot be removed, but shells, sand dollars and the like are yours to take home.  These make wonderful natural souvenirs and will help you remember your trip for many years to come.

We at Sunset Properties, know your last beach weekend this summer is important to you.  We want you to have a relaxing 2019 Labor Day Weekend.  We are proud to offer clean, fully stocked beach homes to fit any need and are ready to make your reservation with you.

If you need us during your stay, we have two office locations on the island to serve you.  You can also reach us by phone, text and email.  It is our goal to make your Labor Day getaway, just like any other vacation with Sunset Properties, as stress-free and pleasant as possible.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!

www.sunsetpropertie.com

251.543.1310